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Published June 2008 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Scheduling despite inexact job-size information


Motivated by the optimality of Shortest Remaining Processing Time (SRPT) for mean response time, in recent years many computer systems have used the heuristic of "favoring small jobs" in order to dramatically reduce user response times. However, rarely do computer systems have knowledge of exact remaining sizes. In this paper, we introduce the class of ε-SMART policies, which formalizes the heuristic of "favoring small jobs" in a way that includes a wide range of policies that schedule using inexact job-size information. Examples of ε-SMART policies include (i) policies that use exact size information, e.g., SRPT and PSJF, (ii) policies that use job-size estimates, and (iii) policies that use a finite number of size-based priority levels. For many ε-SMART policies, e.g., SRPT with inexact job-size information, there are no analytic results available in the literature. In this work, we prove four main results: we derive upper and lower bounds on the mean response time, the mean slowdown, the response-time tail, and the conditional response time of ε-SMART policies. In each case, the results explicitly characterize the tradeoff between the accuracy of the job-size information used to prioritize and the performance of the resulting policy. Thus, the results provide designers insight into how accurate job-size information must be in order to achieve desired performance guarantees.

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© 2008 ACM.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023